(If you missed Part 1 – what the hell? Just kidding. Mondays are tough. I forgive you. Click HERE to get caught up.)

Since my body was still on central time, Friday morning I woke up around 7 ready to tackle the day. But first, coffee.

Johnny brought over pastries for breakfast. I proposed to him. He said no. And the three of us enjoyed breakfast on the porch. It wasn’t awkward at all.

After carbing up, the three of us loaded into the car and headed out to Sahalie Falls armed with lattes and road trip snacks.

From the second we got to Sahalie, I was in complete and total awe. Never in my life have I seen anything so beautiful.

 

After spending the afternoon exploring the falls, we were starving and I was once again bordering on hangry, so Allison decided on Deschutes Brewery for dinner.

It seemed criminal to order anything other than a burger.

After dinner we met up with a few of her friends for drinky drinks but I didn’t take any pictures because if you wanted to see pictures of boozed up you could just follow me on Instagram. I did, however, take a picture of the cozy fireplace that we came home to that night.

Saturday morning we slept in a little bit and then headed to Chow for breakfast. The line was long, but the scene was perfect.

We finally got seated and both ordered some funky delicious twist on poached eggs. I’m still kicking myself for not ordering the sweet potato fries.

We had plans to go canoeing at Hosmer Lake, but since we weren’t in any hurry we decided to slow things down and watch a few episodes of Mindy because #vacation, #weekend, and #hilarious. Three very vital hashtags.

After a little Mindy, we they loaded up the car and we headed out to the lake.

I honestly don’t have a whole lot of words for these next few photos. Completely, and totally, mind-blowing.

When we got back into town, I realized I still hadn’t gone on a run. And I wasn’t about to let the cool weather and ridiculous scenery go to waste. So we headed out for a cool evening run, but for the first five minutes we couldn’t stop laughing long enough to put one foot in front of the other. I love her and this picture makes me giggle.

After the run we got cleaned up and headed to Allison’s house for her roommates birthday party. Her name is Natalie but I refuse to acknowledge that so I didn’t take any pictures except for this one cause BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE AND NO OTHER NATALIES EXIST.

Of all the trips I’ve been on – this might have been my favorite. I love that weirdo, and I loved these sunrises.

Take me back, ok?

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • What a fun weekend! Getting away and reuniting with friends is the best! I’ve never been to Oregon, but I’m originally from Northern California so it looks pretty similar. Love that scenery!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Im so outrageously jealous!! I would kill to live somewhere so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Remember that time I said lets NOT talk about Oregon because I might boil over with jealousy? True fact. That place looks so incredibly amazing and I want to go ASAP! K thanks.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Well you probs should. And I’ll go with.ReplyCancel

  • Looks like so much fun! I am seriously jealous and I want to go visit Oregon next week expect that I will then probably decide that I want to move there.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Honestly though. Never in my life have I actually seriously thought, “what a I doing?! I NEED to live here!” It’s perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Wow! absolutely beautiful pictures!! That water is SO BLUE!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Ok seriously – TELL ME ABOUT IT. It was clearer than any ocean I’ve EVER seen.ReplyCancel

Sigh. A big fat Monday sigh that shows you how sad I am that this weekend is over while also implying how unprepared I am for the work week. It’s not pretty y’all. I’m sad and whiny and tired and all the other words but I better shut up now before you get depressed and decide to stop reading.

Oregon was perfect. Absolute 100% perfection. I already miss the clean smelling air, the unbelievable scenery, and most of all – this nutcase.

Wednesday was a total blur of texts from my best friend and a panicked last minute trip to the DMV when I realized the name on my plane ticket didn’t match the name on my driver’s license. WHOOPS.

It took me forever to get to sleep (because EXCITEMENT), and just a few hours later I was up and ready to head to the airport at this ungodly hour.

The ten hour travel day felt insanely long, so I was really glad that I’d stocked up on solid reading material. Lean In quickly turned out to be my favorite and remind me to tell you about it soon, ok?

After a stop in LAX, I finally made it to Bend and Allison quickly whisked me away to lunch before I had the chance to hangry punch her in the throat. She’s the sweetest.

She took me to Jackson’s Corner and forced me to order the Thai pork salad which completely blew my mind and also made the laughing fest afterwards super painful because that’s a lot of pork y’all.

After lunch, we headed over to the house where we were staying. Allison’s roommates had friends in town, so we stayed at another one of her sweet friend’s cottages. A cottage y’all. As in, “Who’s been sleeping in my bed and eating my porridge?” And it was PERFECT.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, we headed out to make the most of the gorgeous day by visiting Tumalo Falls.

After the falls, she showed me a little more of Bend and took me to this park nearby where we were staying. This is a park, people – a PARK. I don’t know where you’re from, but this isn’t what our parks look like in Fort Worth, Texas. Just sayin’.

Nature really gives me quite an appetite. So that evening, we got cleaned up and headed to Greg’s Grill for dinner and drinks.

We’re expects at healthy decision making, so we split the sliders with sweet potato fries and carnitas nachos. And beer. But we didn’t split that. Who shares booze?

After dinner, we grabbed drinks and got viciously photobombed. It was the perfect day.

I’m trying not to drag this Oregon recap out too much, so I’ll be squeezing the next two days into one recap later on this evening. Check back for that and then we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. Whatever that means.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Every part of this trip looks incredible. Oregon is ALMOST making me want to venture outside into the nature.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      IT WAS AMAZING. It really helps when it’s not one million degrees with an infinity percentage of humidity.ReplyCancel

  • This looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! Parks definitely don’t look like that in Little Rock either, sister. Bend is giving me the travel bug!!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It was the best! It was also so nice that all the “entertainment” is nature, so it was really fairly cheap!ReplyCancel

  • Looks like a great trip! I really want to go visit Oregon someday!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      You’ve got to! It was so beautiful! I’ll be going back for SURE!ReplyCancel

  • yay so glad you had fun! oregon is pretty spectacular. i moved there from colorado and the parks in colorado definitely don’t look that green either!

    and holy water fall-amazing! and you’re right….no sharing of booze.ReplyCancel

  • wow, oregon looks beautiful. i should visit someday.ReplyCancel

  • lol, the photobomb! I knew you were in Oregon as soon as I saw the first few pics. I live down the road in Washington and we’ve taken a road trip to Fossil, Oregon to stay at a friend’s B&B there. They talk about Bend all the time because I think it’s the closest town. I need to visit more- from what I’ve seen Oregon is gorgeous! P.S. I want that Boston Strong sweatshirt. Like I need it really. Where did you get??ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I actually got it on the street in Boston! I loved that it was a long sleeve tee, because those are my favorite! And yes, Oregon was one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited, it’s such a beautiful place!ReplyCancel

  • that cottage. swoon. looks like a great trip.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It was SO CUTEEEEEEEE. I want to live in it foreverrrr.ReplyCancel

And you can’t make me.

Off to more insane adventures.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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Well. It’s officially fall. And I’ve finally reached the point where I’m slightly less annoyed with pumpkin spice latte talk than I was three weeks ago, which shows a lot of growth on my part. I’m also on my third glass of pink wine. That might have something to do with it.

In case you haven’t noticed, the blogosphere is currently inundated with Fall Bucket Lists. And I love them. They’re festive and whimsical and also completely and totally unrealistic. But I love fall, so I click. And I read. And when I’m done reading these Fall bucket lists, I think, “Man that sounds nice! And also imaginary.”

Who has the time for all these fall activities?! Can Texas even grow apples? Where does one find a pumpkin patch? And more importantly – HOW DO YOU GET YOUR HUSBAND THERE?

So dear blogosphere – I love your lists, really I do. They make my heart pitter-patter and they make me reach for the flannel. But this fall, I’ve got a bucket list of my own.

- Go to the state fair. Ride the ferris wheel. Eat a gratuitous amount of fried foods. Mainly corn dogs and fried Oreos. Take selfies to document.

- Carve a pumpkin. Wear gloves, and make Taylor touch all the ooogy gross pumpkin parts while you consult on design.

- Make these cookies. Use extra chocolate chips and attempt to eat them all in one sitting.

- Think of a brilliant couples Halloween costume cause #MARRIAGE.

- Attend a badass Halloween party. Stand around and wait for the inevitable comments on aforementioned brilliant couples costume.

- Don’t go apple picking. That sounds hard. Can Texas even grow apples? Instead, make five more apple dump cakes.

- Drink a lot of spiked cider. Spiked cider = fall. Spiked cider buzz = FESTIVE.

- And lastly – don’t watch a single scary movie. You saw all the Paranormal Activities. You’re set for life.

And that’s it. Because there are only so many days in October and once November comes it’s Christmas Christmas EVERYWHERE.

——————————————————————————

HIMYM season 9 is finally on Netflix and Taylor is glued to the TV. He’s also still mad at me for alluding to how it ends. I’m still mad at him for not letting me have a puppy.

Tomorrow morning at 4am, I’ll be heading to Oregon to see THIS GIRL.

She’s cute and I love champagne, but I’m currently packing and realizing how unprepared I am. Let’s discuss.

1) There’s going to be a lot of hiking. Which sounds really incredible, but true story – I’ve never hiked. Someone please very clearly define hiking for me. Is it hard? Isn’t it basically walking, but like in an uphill direction? OW. I’m confused and a little terrified. And also I got carried away with the gifs. Advanced apologies.

RIP Joan

2) What kind of west coast-ish lingo will I need to know? Is “rad” still a thing? Was it ever a thing?

3) And what do these people wear? I’ve been told flannel. I don’t own any flannel because it tends to make me sweaty. But my need to be trendy and local overwhelms my fear of excessive and obvious perspiration, so I bought one at Target tonight and now I totally look the part.

Basically I don’t know what is what anymore. And I have to be awake and on my way to the airport in 8 hours. YIKES. BYE.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • YOU AND MY FRENCH PRESS ARE THE ONLY MOTIVATION KEEPING ME GOING THROUGH THIS PAPER RIGHT NOW!!! (The coffee is the reason so much of this comment is going to be in caps lock.)

    let me educate you – FIRST OF ALL WE ARE BEST FRIENDS AND THIS IS HILARIOUS AND AGAIN WITH THE CAPS LOCK.

    second of all, rad IS a thing.

    third, i know i was against locking ourselves inside and watching GG while you’re here, HOWEVER i will consider doing just that with the last season of himym. well. the last two seasons because i kinda stopped mid-season-eight when i realized i was running out of episodes. #denial. i did the same thing with ol’ gilmore girls. i also spoiled the ending for both, so that might have more to do with it.

    LASTLY – YOU BETTER TAKE A NAP ON THE PLANE BECAUSE SLEEPING MEANS WE HAVE LESS TIME FOR STARING INTO EACH OTHER’S EYES.

    too much? maybe. SEE YOU TOMORROW!!!ReplyCancel

  • Erin

    ahhh oregon in the fall sounds amazing. can’t wait to hear all about your trip. don’t worry about hiking…one foot in front of the other while taking in awesome scenery! just drink a lot of water. some of my best college memories involve hiking with my best friends. also I vote you watch portlandia for any and all oregon info and inspiration. safe travels!!ReplyCancel

  • I went to Oregon this summer and LOVED it! We went hiking about an hour outside of Portland and I thought it would be no big deal but it was definitely a workout! Took us over 3 hours to finish and I got stung on the a** by yellow jacket (seriously not sure if my right butt cheek will ever look the same..TMI?) but it was WORTH.IT. I’ve never seen so many waterfalls and so much gorgeous scenery! have a blast!!!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      YES WATERFALLS!!!! AHHHH. Also I LOL’d obnoxiously at your ass sting. That’s funny and now everyone next to me at the airport thinks so too.ReplyCancel

  • This post makes me miss my bestie Laura and I wish I could afford the time and money to fly across the country to see her. Have an awesome visit.ReplyCancel

  • I can’t offer any West Coast advice because I don’t live in Oregon. Please don’t say rad. PLEASE. I’m begging you.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It’s too late. It’s now my signature word.ReplyCancel

  • yay! firs thanks for no nonsense fall activity list and i’m going to have to try this ‘apple dump cake’ because i love the name.

    i live in oregon-yay! sounds like you are going to bend, which is about 4 hours away from portland aka portlandia aka it’s all real so there’s that. bend is pretty hipstery too and gorgeous so it will probably make you want to move here so be prepared.

    also be prepared to absorb 293 different shades of green, especially while hiking because it will blow your damn mind. have so much fun!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’m already going CRAZY. Absolutely crazy. I love it love it love it.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It was STUNNING.ReplyCancel

  • Lets not talk about Oregon because the Jealousy might kill me.

    But–you should definitely convince Taylor to let you get a puppy. Michael keeps noting how much happier I am all the time now (read: after work when its impossible to be happy about the way you spent the last 9 hours). Pickles just greets me when I come home and brings all the joy in the world. Michael was hesitant at first–as was I–but now we talk all the time about how glad we are we got a puppy and how much he has made our lives more fulfilled.

    #TeampuppyReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’ll be printing this and giving it to Tay Tay as hard evidence for why #teampuppy should win.ReplyCancel

  • I am not watching any scary movies whatsoever, either. I used to live in Michigan, and apple-picking was very normal because there’s tons of orchards. But now I live in ShenZhen, China, and I don’t think they have fall, let alone apples.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha, oh no! A year without fall makes me sad!ReplyCancel

I love running.

Don’t you dare ask me to throw a ball, swim a lap, or hop on a bike – but running? Running is my thing. I’m not fast, and I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve been running for almost five years now, so I’ve been around the block a time or two. If you were to dig waaay back in the archives, you’d even find that when I picked blogging back up in 2011, I actually wrote mainly to document training for my first half marathon. And even though I don’t write solely about running anymore, I still get lots of emails from readers looking for advice.

When it comes to running, people usually have pretty polarizing opinions. It seems like you either love it, or hate it. And for years, I hated it. I mean, don’t we all remember being forced to run endless laps in school as a form of cruel and unusual punishment? It’s no wonder running gets such a bad rap. But when I arrived in my early twenties a few pounds heavier than I preferred, I hit the pavement. And I eventually fell in love.

So if you don’t love running – I get it. Running doesn’t have to be your thing. But for my readers that are new to running, or even those looking for a place to start, this post is for you!

Find your WHY. First things first – you’ve got to figure out WHY you’re running. What do you hope to get out of it? Are you training for a race? Aiming for weight loss? Stress relief? Just a little more time in nature?  Whatever your reason may be – make a goal and clearly define it so you have something to reference when the going gets tough.

Shoes matter. Please, please, PLEASE – invest in a good pair of shoes. Running shoes aren’t cheap, but a good pair can last you up to 500 miles. Just Google running stores in your area and go have your gait analyzed. It’s quick and free, and will make ALL the difference in finding the right shoe for YOU. Even if you aren’t training for a race and are just running recreationally – God gave you two feet and two legs, so take care of them!  (For more info on how to tell if it’s time for a new pair, check out THIS article.)

Just remember, a good pair of shoes can save you a LOT of pain later on down the road.

It won’t hurt forever. But it will hurt a little bit. It’s PSA time y’all. Just because running is simple does NOT mean that it’s easy. It’s going to hurt, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Running is not like other exercises. Just because you lift weights or do yoga doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in “running shape.” You can be in fantastic shape and still have a really tough time with running. On the flip side, I can run ten miles and feel like a million bucks, but if you ask me to do ten lunges, I’ll be crying for days. That’s just the way it goes with exercise. Different activities work different parts of the body, and running is no exception. So in the beginning, expect to be sore! But remember, it won’t last forever.

Take it slow. For goodness’ sake – give yourself a break. If you’re new to running, or getting back in the swing of things, please remember – you’re only human. You’re going to be tired, you’re going to huff and puff. Every run doesn’t have to be a sprint. The last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard and burn out. And if you’re brand-spakin’ new to running, try out a run/walk plan. Before you know if your walk will turn into a jog, your jog into a run, and your run into a sprint. But it’s not a race (yet), so take your time in the beginning. You’ll see progress before you know it.

Listen to your body. It might be hard to tell in the beginning, but there’s a difference between sore and injured. If it’s sore, ice it. If it doesn’t go away, rest it. If it persists, call your doctor. It’s much better to get to the root of the problem now, than to let it linger and wind up seriously hurt.

Find a buddy. Or even better, find a bunch of them! While you’re at your local running store getting fitted for your new shoes (I’m assuming you are already heeding my advice), ask them if they offer any training groups or free social runs. Even if they don’t, they can probably point you in the right direction. And you just might make a new friend.

Having a buddy can keep you accountable on days when you’re feeling lazy, and provide distraction during tough runs. I met my good friend and running pal Karen through the Fort Worth Running Company marathon training program. Even when we aren’t training, we meet up at least once a week for a run, and I can’t imagine making it through 530am hill workouts without her!

If you don’t have a local running store or training group, Facebook is an awesome resource for finding local runners. Try Runner’s Corner. I met my speedwork buddy Brittany through Runner’s Corner, and she has been such an awesome example and encouragement during tough training. (PS – Meet strangers responsibly. You probably shouldn’t meet them at 5am at a deserted track, because murderers and stuff. Well lit and highly populated areas seem like a safer option.)

And if you need help or suggestions, shoot me an email because I’m a wealth of useless information and ALSO MAYBE WE CAN RUN TOGETHER?! Seriously – call me.

Put the donut down. Hi. My name is Natalie, and I gained five pounds while training for a marathon.

WAIT WHAT!? How is that even possible?! Oh, my friends – it is definitely possible. Running is super appealing for weight loss, and for good reason. It’s a quick and simple way to burn a few hundred (or thousand if you’re marathon training!) extra calories in a day. But on the same note, running will make you absolutely ravenous, especially if you’re half marathon or marathon training. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for the sweets. Or the French fries. Or the pop-tarts. All of it really.

My nutrition FLEW out the window while I was training for Cowtown Marathon. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and my waistline paid the price. So take it from me, and cool it on the junk food. Obviously balance is the goal, so indulge in treats, but try your hardest to not get in lost in the “I ran today, it’s fine!” mentality. I’m still working on that.

One good run can make up for ten bad runs. Is it cheesy? Yes. But is it true? Hell yes. Most runners will tell you that if you find yourself struggling through really crappy runs, it just means a good one is right around the corner. And it’s almost always true. The good ones always seem to outweigh the bad.

And that’s it! 8 super simple tips that I think every new runner should know! And if you’re interested, you can read more about my running story HERE.

So what are your thoughts on running? Love it? Hate it? What are your tips for new runners?

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Get it girl!ReplyCancel

  • great post! I definitely get the gaining weight while training for a marathon scenario! Just in the last week leading up to my marathon, I felt like I was eating a ridiculous amount of carbs, and while I loved it, it feels nice to go back to a more balanced diet now. :) ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Totally agree! For me it was hard to transition from eating a ton to not training and trying to eat normally. That’s tough too!ReplyCancel

  • Great tips girl! I love how real you always are!ReplyCancel

  • This ALMOST makes me want to become a runner. Almost. I just really hate all exercise, ever. But I DO like the idea of feeling confident in my body and getting some time outdoors… But also then the shin splints. OW. And the hyperventilation. GASP. And the pants-wearing-outside-of-your-house-doing. IDK about that. Keep telling me how great it is and maybe one day I’ll go outside and run.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      OR – I can just join you in the no pants-ing and we can add wine and call it a day. Yes? No? Creepy? Mmmk. Let me know.ReplyCancel

  • UMMMMM where did you get those Tx flag shorts?! I’ve been looking and want to find the perfect pair!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Fort Worth running company! I love them!ReplyCancel

  • these are great tips! i still totally hate running but now i do it a few times a week and to be fair i do hate it less than i did in high school when my gym teacher threatened to flunk me if i didn’t get my 1 (ONE) mile under 13 minutes. true story.

    those donuts though…mmmm. and so very true about how different exercises make you hurt differently. i did lunges like 5 days ago and these glutes (of almost steel) still burn.ReplyCancel

  • THIS IS VERY HELPFUL FOR ME SINCE I AM A BABY RUNNER. I know I need new shoes… that’s the first thing on my list, even before compression socks. One day I’ll be able to run like you. That is one of my biggest dreams. Don’t judge my dreams.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      LIKE IF THAT’S YOUR BIGGEST DREAM I JUST FEEL SO BAD FOR YOU. JK – my dream is to drink ninja mimosas with you.ReplyCancel

  • Bahaha I just now read this. And I agree with you X’s 10 on all accounts. Love this so much! Marathon training = my inner fatty fatty 2 by 4 comes out full force. Must eat ALL THE THINGS!!!!ReplyCancel